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Friday, April 30, 2010

S&W WhiteBox has arrived!

It's a very nice product. For those of you who are interested in S&W, I'd recommend that you buy this box set when it is available again. (Though those hardbacks also look really good).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wish I had a gaming group

I was spoiled when I lived in Altoona, which had a fair amount of gamers that I knew living there. I know some in the Harrisburg area, but honestly, I have no desire to game with them anymore. Too many wife/girlfriend/whatever issues with people. And sadly, even some of my old gamer buddies have moved away, mostly to the Carolinas in search of better jobs. I'm sure more than a few others have this issue. I suspect if I actually got to game regularly again, I'd spent a lot less time on the internet talking about it :).

Monday, April 26, 2010


While I'm mostly a fan of the Forgotten Realms, I do like Eberron. I love the trains, the Shifters, and the City of Sharn. There were also a number of pretty good fantasy detective novels done for the setting, which I believe are not discontinued, which is a shame. The drow in the setting are really cool, with their scorpion focus and tattoos. Too bad the Dark Continent was one actually explored in some detail in a setting book. It got the Sembia effect, where it was supposed to be left largely to the DM, but instead, got a couple hundred pages of info.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

S&W WhiteBox FINALLY shipping

Just got the email that it's going to be sent real soon. Only a few months late, but at least it isn't a total rip.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Joker for S&W WhiteBox

The Joker

Armor Class:     0 [19]
Hit Dice:            10
Attacks:             1d6 (fist)/1d6 + “shakes” poison (hand crossbow, see below for poison)
Special:              Gadgets (see below), Followers
Move:                9
HDE/XP:           12/2,000

The Joker is a terrible figure in a city’s underworld. He commits criminal capers, and usually leaves a few bodies behind at each one. He loves leaving clues for intelligent adventurers to try and find him. He is extremely intelligent, though completely psychotic, and will not fall into obvious traps. In combat, he will target magic-users first, then clerics, then fighters. The Joker is immune to Hold spells, and will often send his lackeys to delay adventurers while he escapes if it looks like the battle is going poorly.

The Joker has a few gadgets that he can use any given round. When activating a gadget, it acts as if he cast a spell.

Fear Gas Lapel Flower: Target must make a Saving Throw or run away from the caster for 1d6 rounds.
Hypnotic Pocket Watch: Target must make a Saving Throw or follow a one sentence command from the caster. Target will not attack his friends or himself.
Sleep Gas Egg: Characters within five feet must make a successful Saving Throw or immediately fall asleep for 1d6 rounds.
Hand Buzzer: The Joker attacks character who is effectively AC 9 [10] for this attack. If struck, the character takes 3d6 electric damage. Can only be used once per encounter (the gadget needs recharged after a successful hit).
Magic Top Hat: The Joker can pull one random monster from the hat during an encounter. The monster will fight fanatically against anyone the Joker desires. The monster vanishes after one turn. (Choose the monster based on PC abilities).

Lackeys: The Joker will have 1d6 Fighters of levels 1 to 3 with him. These fighters are armed with maces and leather armor and have AC 7 [12]. They are also fanatical, and will fight till the bitter end. If encountered at his Hideout, there will be 3d6 Fighters present.

Hand Crossbow: Dmg 1d6, Range 15/30/45, ROF 1/2.

“Shakes” Poison: Target must Save or take 1d3 damage for 5 rounds. While affected by the poison, the character shakes severely and cannot cast spells and suffers a -2 to hit penalty with missile weapons.

And a pdf is located HERE.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Joker as D&D Villain

Just a thought. I'd love to run a city campaign, where the main bad guy is a Joker-style madman. He'd have to be very hard to kill, and use gadgets and probably a hand crossbow. Of course, I am pretty sure I'd just stat him up as a monster, instead of being confined by classes. Give me a day or so, and I'll have something.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Video game influences on pen and paper rpgs

I love video games, especially fantasy mmo's. Naturally, this leads to me including stuff from mmo's I like into my games. The easiest stuff to steal is place names. Just wandering around WoW will net you a ton of towns and mountain ranges and rivers. I also like to convert the occasional monster into my games. They can be fun, and my friends love seeing something like a murloc pop up, as long as I don't overdo it.

While I have no interest in playing a game set completely in the World of Warcraft, I see no reason why I shouldn't use the cool stuff. Where I will have issues with it, is when it affects the actual rules of a game. Having power slots that can be upgraded, tank/dps/healer roles spelled out, etc., irritates me. Yes, I can see how it would actually be helpful if I was just learning D&D or something similar on my own. But I'm old and cranky, so I don't need that in my games. It's my own little bit of curmudgeonism. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Murlocs for S&W WhiteBox

Armor Class: 6 [13]
Hit Dice: 1-1
Attacks: Weapon
Special: Breathe water
Move: 9/swim 9
HDE/XP: < 1/10

Murlocs are small fish-men that inhabit coastal areas, often setting up small villages in isolated coves. They can swim very quickly, and can breathe underwater. They fight with spears. They are very aggressive, despite their small stature, and often swarm at enemies.

Murloc  Shamans
Armor Class: 6 [13]
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks: Weapon/Spells
Special: Breathe water, Spells
Move: 9/swim 9
HDE/XP: 1/15

Murloc shamans lead the murloc tribes. They can cast magic missile three times per day.

A pdf (including a picture) is located HERE.
And Murlocs are from World of Warcraft, in case anyone wasn't aware of them. They are annoying monsters that players often have to face.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Adventurers and Taxes

Lot of adventurers have lots of gold. Something that any right-thinking ruler will want to get a percentage of. However, taxing a bunch of even mid-level adventurers could cause untold destruction if they are of evil bent. Also, what percentage, exactly, should be taken from the loot gained by tomb-robbing (which much adventuring really ends up being). And how much goes to the state, and how much to the church? Since both like to get their own free money. I suspect tax collectors will need to have magical backup, or at least a squad of toughs, for when they collect the dues.

In addition, some of the taxes might be "paid" in service, instead of with gold. This could provide the occasional plot hook, as the adventuring party is required, by the local baron, to get rid of a bandit holdout. This service will be done at the adventurer's expense, but will count as a tax payment. This way, the baron can get some criminals taken care of for free, or some annoying adventurers might get killed off and their remaining properties could be taxed or even confiscated. This will be a win-win for the baron. It's also a fun way to get players involved in the local setting, and worried about politics.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

BF1 Morgansfort

I picked up the perfect-bound softcover of Morgansfort from Lulu. It arrived today. Morgansfort is a setting/adventure supplement for the Basic Fantasy Roleplaying Game. You can download  a pdf of the rules and Morgansfort itself for free. I personally prefer real books. I also have the BFRPG perfectbound softcover. Both books are very well made. The text is very easy to read, and the paper is has a nice texture. BFRPG is a nice mix of 1e and 3e D&D. I like it. Morgansfort presents a cool setting, and has several adventures included. Both are sold at very low prices on Lulu. I recommend them if you are interested in these types of games.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I don't really care for resurrecting people in game. I would allow it if the characters are working for a  church, or if one of them is a high level cleric. Other than that, I think it should be reserved for either church figures or kings and dukes (and similarly powerful authorities). By allowing any old adventurer to get resurrected, especially if he was looting a tomb or old dungeon, really cheapens the spell for me. Resurrection should be earned, not just given out for a few thousand gold pieces.

While I can see various churches happily resurrecting people for monetary donations, I think I would have the gods refuse to grant the spell if it was abused, even once. If the dead person was devout, and actively opposing some major force of evil, resurrection would be granted with no reservations. If a cleric just goes and resurrects Ragnar the fighter, who has never worshiped at the church at all, because his buddies give the priest a chest of gems, I think the god just might cut off spells to the priest and force him to make atonement in some way.